“Dealing with the Past” program

As a participant of the "Dealing with the Past" program, within the Sarajevo Film Festival, I had the honor of being part of a group that witnessed past events through incredible and raw cinematography.

I liked how past events and experiences were expressed in quite an exhilarating and beautiful manner because for us, the younger generations, it is a perfect way of grasping what happened in the past. Participating in the panels with survivors and witnesses of the war in BiH was unbelievable. Their stories and accounts had a profound effect on our understanding of how the war influenced the lives of ordinary people.

I was particularly moved by the conversation with Damir Šagolj “Through the Looking Lens”, which was depictive and emotional. He explained how not every picture shows the whole story or the whole truth. Furthermore, he revealed to us the many approaches we can take in analyzing pictures and understanding stories. I also thought it was frightening because only the picture’s original author knows the truth and he/she may or may not share it with the rest of us.

As a participant of the DwP program, I had the opportunity to watch some amazing movies. The movie “Meeting Gorbachev” was specifically interesting to me. It was an honest and intense conversation with the last President of the USSR. I found it amazing how everything is still so vivid in his memory and how he remembers accurately details from his active political career, despite the fact that he left politics more than 30 years ago.

In the end, he said something that touched me and made me think and that was his answer to the question: " What would you like to have written on your gravestone after you die?" and he replied: "We tried". A man with such great power and mind said something so simple yet with quite the weight in his voice.

In the end, I just want to add that being part of this experience was enormously beneficial and I am thankful for everyone who made it possible for me to participate in DwP and SFF. As for me, I will try to share with my peers and friends the details of this amazing program!

*As a continuation of the cooperation between forumZFD office in BiH and the Sarajevo Film Festival’s Dealing with the Past program, from the 17th until the 20th August forumZFD office in Bosnia and Herzegovina together with War Childhood Museum supported four Challenge History Alumni in their participation in the DwP Program of the Sarajevo Film Festival. This article is a personal reflection of Amela Nevaljalović on her participation in this program.